A feature by Ian Dreiblatt
Carnegie Hall, May 31, 2014. I watch Arvo Pärt step haltingly into the rear of the auditorium. An usher, thinking him the old man he appears from outside of sound to be, asks if he needs any help, a faint impatience curling the edges of his speech. He shakes his head and proceeds to an aisle, occluded by clusters of Orthodox priests. He navigates among them slowly and without solemnity. Like the people around me, I’m anticipating the concert by remembering things. A procession of them, connected by an invisible logic that feels somehow singular. It’s like mourning. Slow motion up a chain of small bells . . .